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Rahul talks about Adani’s meteoric rise, questions links with Modi

By News Desk
February 08, 2023

NEW DELHI: Taking a jibe at the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Tuesday questioned the meteoric rise of billionaire businessman Gautam Adani and wondered if any “miracle” happened in his favour that his ranking in the richest persons’ list rose from 609 in 2014 to 2 in 2022, Indian media reported.

Speaking in Lok Sabha during the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, Gandhi linked Adani’s rise with the Modi government coming to power in 2014. “People want to know about Modi-Adani relationship. Rules were overlooked to favour Adani… From Tamil Nadu, Kerala to Himachal Pradesh we have been listening one name everywhere Adani. Across the entire country, it’s just ‘Adani’, ‘Adani’, ‘Adani’…people used to ask me that Adani enters any business and never fails,” Gandhi said.

The Adani Group is in the midst of a stock market meltdown following the allegations of fraud and stock manipulation by a US-based short-selling firm Hindenburg Research. The group, however, has rejected the charges.

As Gandhi continued to speak on Adani, BJP MPs protested with Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju asking the former to not level “wild allegations” and furnish proof of his claims. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla subsequently asked Gandhi to focus on the President’s address and disapproved of the Congress leader displaying a picture of PM Modi with Adani in the business tycoon’s plane to highlight their alleged proximity.

During his speech, Gandhi also questioned how Adani’s net worth increased from $8 billion to $140 billion between 2014 and 2022. “Youth asked us that Adani is now in 8-10 sectors and that how his net worth reached $140 billion from $8 billion from 2014 to 2022,” he said.

The Congress MP claimed that Adani’s relationship with the PM began many years ago when Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat. “One man stood shoulder to shoulder with PM Modi, he was loyal to PM and helped Modi to construct idea of a Resurgent Gujarat. Real magic began when PM Modi reached Delhi in 2014,” he said.

“How many times you travelled together (on a foreign trip) with Adaniji? How many times Adaniji joined you later on your foreign trip? How many times he reached you after you landed on a foreign country? How many times Adaniji bagged a contract in a foreign country after your visit there?” Rahul Gandhi asked Modi.

Gandhi also alleged that the Centre had tweaked rules in favor of Adani, saying that those with no prior experience in airports were earlier not involved in the development of airports. Gandhi said, “This rule was changed and Adani was given six airports. After that India’s most profitable airport ‘Mumbai Airport’ was hijacked from GVK using agencies like CBI, ED and was given to Adani by government of India”.